The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has this week issued guidance recommending the use of adalimumab for the treatment of non-infectious uveitis.
In making the recommendation, the body recognises adalimumab to be a clinically and cost effective treatment option for eligible adults with the condition who had an “inadequate” response to corticosteroids.
Adalimumab is the first and only biologic medicine licensed for adult patients with certain types of non-infectious uveitis – intermediate, posterior and pan-uveitis.
Non-infectious uveitis can lead to vision loss and is the third-leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide.
This NICE Technology Appraisal Guidance (TAG) follows the publication of the Interim Clinical Commissioning Policy Statement: Adalimumab for Severe Refractory Uveitis in March 2017. It means that, for eligible patients, routine treatment is now not limited to steroids or immunosuppressants.
Responding to the recommendation, co-founder of the Birdshot Uveitis Society, Annie Folkard, told OT: “We are delighted that there is now another treatment option for those adults with severe uveitis who have not responded to other forms of treatment and who are at greatest risk of going blind. The effects of uveitis can be devastating. Not only can it make everyday tasks very difficult, but uncontrolled uveitis can also lead to irreversible deterioration of vision and ultimately blindness.”
Eye health policy officer at the Royal National Institute of Blind People, Jessica Hall, added: “We very much welcome NICE’s recommendations as we finally have a routinely available treatment option, which has been shown to be safe and effective for those adults most at risk of sight loss.”
When NICE recommends a treatment ‘as an option,’ the NHS is required to comply with the recommendations and make it available for eligible patients in England and Wales within three months of the guidance being published.